Having fun in Kuala Lumpur

Andrew Leeson


Having Fun in Kuala Lumpur

After spending some time relaxing in Langkawi, the team at R2A were ready for a little high octane action in the nations capital, Kuala Lumpur. Low cost airlines really do make these short trips from one Asian location to another so easy, and incredibly cheap, and in just over an hour we were boarding the KLIA Express from the airport into the heart of the city.

As mentioned in a previous blog a few months ago, KL has a great range of accommodation, attractions and retail opportunities that can fit nicely into whatever your budget might be. On this occasion we stayed near the huge KLCC complex, right beside the Petronas Towers, which proved to be a fantastic base to explore this exciting city.

Getting around KL

Getting around KL

Getting Around

KL Sentral is the hub from which the various forms of transport all interconnect. This includes the mainline and regional trains, light rail and monorail. However, literally a week ago, one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken by the country was completed and opened to the public. The Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Mass Rapid Transit line connects areas of KL previously devoid of public transport. Importantly for residents and visitors this will take some 160,000 cars of KL streets, and provide a new route through the city connecting highly popular areas such as Bukit Bintang and Pasar Seni.

Public transport in KL is quick, easy and cheap. Aside from trains in various guises, there’s also an extensive bus network, and of course plenty of taxis (just make sure you get a price quoted for your journey before you begin). 


On this particular trip we made a point to explore the various shopping options the city has to offer. Catch a train, bus or taxi to Pasar Seni and find yourself in market heaven. Here you’ll find the wonderful Central Market (which is open from 10am until 10pm). Originally built in 1928, it was revamped in the 1980’s and has a specialisation all forms of arts and handicrafts. Spread out over two levels the market also has plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the sights and sounds of this perpetual visitor favourite.

Beside the Central Market you’ll find Kasturi Walk, another favourite of tourists. Here you’ll find T-shirts, shoes, watches, various Malaysian craft and cultural items. Prices are generally good and crowds are quite manageable.

The most popular market in KL (by far) is the Night Market on nearby Petaling Street, in Chinatown. It is literally 5 minutes walk away from both the Central Market and the Pasar Seni train/bus interchange. The markets open at 6pm and go until late. We arrived at around 6.15pm and it was quite pleasant wandering around the vast array of stalls. But an hour or two later and it was very busy, so be prepared for some hustle and bustle. That aside it is a vibrant and enthralling experience for those who enjoy a bit of haggling. The stand out ‘knock off’ items would be handbags, watches, shoes and shirts. There’s numerous street food options, with a particular emphasis on Chinese cuisine (given its location).

Beyond the markets, KL offers an excellent range of shopping malls, from high end to mid range (not unlike what you would find in Bangkok). Most of these are centred around Bukit Bintang, which is a great place to explore for retail lovers. All the big brand names are here, as well as many boutique players and local names (especially down some of the side streets off the main centre). Away from Bukit Bintang you’ll also find a number of centres close to KLCC.

Foodies Corner Kuala Lumpur
Bukit Bintang

Food glorious food.

All this shopping builds up an appetite (and a thirst), and whilst there are a huge range of restaurants, cafes and bars in the shopping centres, we find ourselves heading for some street food on Jalan Alor (barely 5 mins walk from Bukit Bintang). This place is brilliant. The prices are cheap, the atmosphere is vibrant and the chose of food almost endless. It may not be glamorous, but pull up a chair, order some delicious dishes, grab a beer and watch the buzz around you unfold. Nearby are some excellent bars (many offering ‘happy hours’ and live music), for a fun night out, and a chance to rest those weary legs.


Kuala Lumpur may not grab the attention of fun seekers in quite the same way as Bangkok or Bali, but it has plenty to offer (including many attractions not discussed in this particular blog), and is well worth checking out when next visiting the region.

If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Andrew Leeson

Andrew Leeson

Over 20 years of experience helping people live a better life in SE Asia. Having worked in financial services in Asia I understand the challenges when moving to and living in a new country. I have travelled extensively throughout the region and experienced what SE Asia has to offer to retirees.

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